Be Extra Pink this October

This October marks the 25th National Breast Cancer Awareness month.  Each year about 200,000 women are diagnosed with the disease and 40,000 lose their lives to it.  It’s the second leading cause of cancer death in women, lung cancer being first. 

Instead of getting down about these statistics, let’s turn things around and start working to prevent this disease from affecting our lives by taking care of ourselves and working to help the women in our lives do the same.

Three Ways to Help Reduce Your Risk Daily
College-aged women are not necessarily at the highest risk for breast cancer, but your healthy habits today can help reduce your future risks. 

1. Physical activity helps boost your immune system and lower your estrogen levels.  According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, just four hours of physical exercise a week can lower your risk of breast cancer. 

2.  A healthy diet consisting of low-fat foods can help reduce your risk because fat triggers estrogen production which can cause tumors to grow.

3.  Cut down on the bar scene.  Studies show; those who drink one to two alcoholic drinks every day have a slightly increased risk of developing breast cancer.  The more alcohol you consume on a daily basis, the higher your risk.  This doesn’t mean if you drink alcohol you are going to get breast cancer, just don’t make it a daily habit. 

Taking it a Step Further
Doctors recommended that women of all ages give themselves a breast self-examine about once a month.  Look for changes in your breasts such as lumps and/or dimpling.  If you do find something out of the ordinary, schedule an appointment with your gynecologist.  To ease your mind: 8 out of 10 lumps are not cancerous. 

If you have a family history of breast cancer you are at a higher risk to develop the disease.  Most doctors recommend you have a mammogram done 5 years prior to the age at which your relative was diagnosed with the disease.  If you do not have a family history of the disease, you can wait until about age 35 for a mammogram.

Lastly, make sure you visit your gynecologist on an annual basis.  I know, we all dread it, but the sooner you’re aware of an issue the greater your chances of beating it.  On a more positive note, when your tests come back fine it’s a nice relief. 

Show Your Support in Northeast Ohio
Below are some ways to help support breast cancer research, education and those individuals who are affected by the disease. 

Night 4 Pink
What: A benefit dinner
When:  Oct. 3, 10 and 24
Where: Downtown 140 Restaurant in Hudson, Ohio

Guitars for Girls
What:  A benefit country concert
When:  Oct. 14
Where:  Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Ohio

Making Strides
What:  A benefit walk
When:  Oct. 17
Where: Lock 3 Park in Akron, Ohio

How to Donate
Susan G. Komen Foundation
National Breast Cancer Foundation
The Breast Cancer Charities

I encourage you to participate in National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in any way you can; be healthier, educate your family and friends, attend an event and/or donate to a breast cancer charity.   At the very least, check out the websites above for additional facts, symptoms, survivors’ stories and more.  Start beating the second leading cause of cancer death in women today!

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